Having vacation days to burn before the end of the fiscal year, I took a couple of days off recently to get a few little things done around the property.  Our weekends have been pretty booked, and when they haven’t, mother nature hasn’t been helping in the weather department.

We are doing our regular raised bed garden this year but have decided to also try “straw bale gardening“. Our friend Heidi told us about her success with it last year and we figured we would give it a shot.  We started by prepping the bales about three weeks prior to planting.  The chickens have been producing plenty of nice, nitrogen rich, fertilizer since last summer, so we used a layer of their compost on top of the bales and soaked them down every other day with rainwater collected from the barn roof.  Once the weather finally turned for the better and we were reading to plant, the bales had started to breakdown.  We have a few tomato and pepper plants going and are excited to see how they fare.
We watched YouTube videos on the subject and here is just one of the several we watched. This one is by The 52 Week Gardener

Next on the list was doing something to protect the chickens from aerial predators like hawks and owls. We looked into various ways of doing this and settled on running stainless steel wire side to side across the top of the run.


The wires are about 12″ apart from each other which doesn’t allow the birds to fly down into the chicken run.  Their wingspan would be too wide.  It may be hard to see in this photo, but if you click on it you can see the full resolution version of it.  We haven’t had an issue with flying predators, but after taking precautions for fox, raccoon, etc. with electric fencing and buried wire around the perimeter of the run, we decided we didn’t want to leave “death from above” to chance.

It’s nice to be able to get outside and accomplish a few things again. Welcome Spring!